The patient Empowered – With power comes responsibility

November 23, 2009

Olivier LAURENT

Olivier LAURENT - CEO at Coligane group

With power comes responsibility

Healthcare is now being seen in a totally different perspective. Patients are not afraid to visit a physician or undergo a surgery as in the previous decades. With the use of online health tools, the patients are able to have a clearer awareness about the benefits and drawbacks of the treatments that they will be undergoing. With knowledge comes confidence and power and with power comes responsibilities. The virtual world created by the Health 2.0 has several advantages and limitations. Proper utilization of these facilities is required to ensure the best outcomes. 1, 2

Patients who have access to internet should ensure that the information they are obtaining is from an authentic source. They should respect the doctor’s role in the diagnosis and treatment decisions and should discuss rather than direct the doctor towards a particular treatment or diagnosis. The patients should also ensure that they do not pass biased reports about treatment procedures, doctors or health institutions. Patients with chronic disorders must always encourage the newly diagnosed patients to meet appropriate healthcare providers for a thorough evaluation. The information accessed through the internet should not be blindly passed on as authentic information. With the newly vested powers, patients, especially those who use the Health 2.0 applications more widely, should ensure that the overall healthcare status improves and more number of people are able to avail the best possible healthcare facilities all over the world.

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References

  1. Fieschi M. Information technology is changing the way society sees health care delivery. Int J Med Inform. 2002 Nov 20; 66(1-3):85-93.
  2. Penson RT, Benson RC, Parles K, Chabner BA, Lynch TJ Jr. Virtual connections: Internet health care. Oncologist. 2002; 7(6):555-68.
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